Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019 | 11:42 p.m.
Welcome to the Sun's newest podcast where Justin Emerson and Case Keefer partake in a weekly discussion on all topics pertaining to the Vegas Golden Knights. On the inaugural episode, there's talk on what Nate Schmidt has meant to Vegas' recent run, whether the Sharks or Flames present a bigger long-term challenge, the introduction to our first "Shining Knight" competition and much more.
Things were starting to slip away for the Golden Knights.
They gave up a two-goal advantage against the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins in the second period on Saturday, and appeared to surrender a third-straight goal that would have given the Penguins the lead.
But the referees disallowed a would-be goal by Evgeni Malkin, determining he kicked the puck into the net. The Golden Knights took over from there.
Jonathan Marchessault scored, then scored again, then scored a third time as Vegas ran away with a 7-3 home win at T-Mobile Arena.
“We let them back into the game and that’s not what we do normally,” Marchessault said. “We came back and battled back.
William Karlsson took a holding call at the 10-minute mark of the second. Malkin’s power-play goal was waved off at 10:17, and Marc-Andre Fleury made two acrobatic saves to prevent another Pittsburgh chance.
The penalty expired at 12:00 and Marchessault scored 26 seconds later. Including that shot, the Golden Knights held a plus-seven edge in Corsi the rest of the game at 5-on-5. Marchessault scored again fewer than four minutes later, and the Golden Knights never looked back.
“We had a big kill and (Marchessault) scored right away,” Fleury said. “It was a little bit of a boost for our team, for everybody.”
Marchessault scored twice more with a Karlsson goal sprinkled in, the second hat trick of his career and first for the Golden Knights this season.
Marchessault got help from Karlsson on his first goal, though it didn’t show up in the stat sheet. Karlsson’s foot race with defenseman Jack Johnson forced goalie Casey DeSmith out of the net to play the puck. He fired it off the boards, and Marchessault collected it and roofed it by DeSmith as he was getting into position.
There was no assist for Karlsson, but certainly stick taps from the goal-scorer.
“As a line I think we take a lot pride playing well defensively and when we do that we normally get rewarded like we did tonight,” Marchessault said. “We just put the puck in an area where we knew (Karlsson) was going to get there first because he’s definitely a fast player. The goalie comes out so I try to read off where he’s going to put it.”
As big as of a boost as Marchessault’s night was for the team, it was just as big for his and Karlsson’s season. Karlsson had a goal and an assist, giving the duo its third five-point outing of the season and first since Nov. 18.
Marchessault had two points in his last 10 games and Karlsson was pointless in his last eight. For a pair that combined for 153 last season, a night like Saturday’s was a welcome sight.
“They’ve been pressing for goals the last little while, so to see (Marchessault) get three and Karlsson get one is huge for our hockey club,” Gerard Gallant said. “When those guys are scoring, and we got everybody else scoring on the team and chipping in, it’s going to be big for our team.”